When Recipes Fail: A Commentary on Sucking in the Kitchen and Stumbling in Life

20130704-134110.jpgOver the past 24 hours, I have sucked in the kitchen! There is no fairy magic here. I have just plain sucked. It started yesterday when I botched a double batch of Trix Crispy Treats. I had to bring a dessert to my daughters’ swim team banquet for 180 people. Clearly, these would be the perfect choice, and it was all well and fine, until 5 minutes before we had to leave, I attempted to pop them out of the pan and slice them in to neat rectangles. I was eager to pile them artfully on my fancy cake plate and present the perfect fairy-style wonder.

Only, it was not very magical. The treats stuck to the pan (which I greased) and the marshmallow never solidified! Not to worry. I figured I’d just pop these suckers in to the fridge and firm them up real quick!


They remained gooey, but we had to leave, so I hacked off the presentable parts, wrapped the hopelessly gooey ones up and off we went. Well, the car was very warm; it was EXTREMELY HOT & HUMID outside, so by the time they were placed on the table, even the good ones had morphed into a rainbow glob resembling a pile of unicorn poop!

Excuses were plentiful. This had to be the result of the weather, or the cheap generic brand marshmallows that my husband got “a great deal on”. Or maybe it was the lack of sleep over the past two nights. Night #1 was consumed by an over-excited, sleepless 8 year old who just couldn’t wait for the Taylor Swift concert, and night # 2 was consumed by the concert itself. Add on very early morning swimming championships, and no wonder these were not a huge success.

OK, move on, not a big deal. There is more to life than Trix Treats.

Yup, there’s plenty more to life, like horrible chicken.

Onto failed recipe # 2. This afternoon, I was perusing the handy dandy internet when I stumbled across a recipe for the best barbeque chicken, like…ever. (Sorry, Taylor Swift is still fresh on my mind) The only problem was that the first step involved a dry rub, but the idiot who wrote the guide, egotistically refused to give his rub recipe. No worries. I thought, let’s improvise and make our own, ya know…a little bit of this & a little dash of that… OK?

photo 1

NO! Not OK!

My rub recipe was way too strong, resulting in the most beautiful but awful tasting chicken on the planet. Really? Who screws up barbeque chicken? Certainly not the Fabulous Fairy! WRONG! I am shamefully raising my hand and owning my defeat. It was horrible and inedible. We ate green beans and roasted potatoes for dinner followed by a bowl of consolation mint chocolate chip ice cream instead. AWESOME!

photo 2

Wow! At this point I accepted defeat, blamed a searing sinus headache and retreated to bed, only to lie there awake. Thoughts just came racing into my head, seemingly out of nowhere, about one of my daughters and some upcoming meetings about her school program next year. The next thing I knew, I was wide awake and in tears. Not wanting to wake up my husband, I crept back down to the kitchen to make a cup of tea and sort things out. After all, I am a teacher in real life. I have a master’s degree in education plus a gazillion credits past that, and I have taught almost every subject. She’s going into middle school. I teach middle school. It should be a no brainer! Right?

Super Awesome! In all of my mental processing, I burnt the frozen waffle that I popped in the toaster. Clearly, my cooking skills have now regressed to those of a 4 year old.

photo 4

So here I found myself holding a cup of tea and a burnt waffle, strike # 3, all while shedding tears of frustration over a meeting that is not even firmly scheduled yet. This is where my moment of clarity came.

My kitchen disasters had nothing to do with the weather, cheap marshmallows, egotistical cooks, or sinus headaches. They were a result of my lack of a recipe in life. My thoughts, fears, critical points to be made, test scores, and witty remarks were all mixed around in my mind like a bad meal. I realized that I need a real plan to move forward with my daughter’s meetings and educational needs. Here I am, The Fabulous Fairy, who can pull out a recipe for almost anything (except a barbecue rub), but trying to tip-toe through a touchy situation without a recipe for success and progress when it came to my own child. Whew!

Lesson learned, tears over.

So, here I sit, at the counter in my kitchen, my recipe central, hacking at the pathetic pile of second string unicorn poop, crafting a recipe for my daughter. I am confident that I will find a plan, and eventually some sleep, but I am going to approach my hurdles with a bit more foresight, organization, and personal forgiveness.


I guess sometimes we have to remember that we need to nourish our hearts and minds as well as we nourish our bodies.

Good night. Here’s to hoping dinner is more successful tomorrow.

~Kelly, “The Not Always Fabulous Fairy”

14 thoughts on “When Recipes Fail: A Commentary on Sucking in the Kitchen and Stumbling in Life

  1. Ha, I have no good excuse, this is me every day, for about 5 years now…amped up with gluten & dairy free cooking 2.5. years ago! Anyway, you’re a success if you got out of these mishaps with no injuries, lol! Thanks for the COMPLETELY relatable post, signed, a failed cook 🙂

  2. Oy! My kids would love to tell you all about my kitchen failures and what a wonderful chef their Dad is…

    I love how you pull a lesson for yourself out of all of this. It’s easy to make mistakes when we’re unfocused and going in several different directions. I would love for you to link up your post over at my Motivation Monday linky – alifeinbalance.net

      • When my teenie bopper was three she tasted something I cooked, spit it out and said, “What is this crap, I can’t eat this mess.” I am not being humble, my cooking sucked, it is better, but I still have some REALLY OFF days.

      • Thank you for making me smile! I had a funny moment with my daughter and her friend the other day. The friend said she wished she lived at my house because I cooked “gourmet” meals every night. My daughter replied that she would much rather live at the friend’s house because her dad cooks chicken with “that awesome Shake-N-Bake stuff”! Sometimes you can’t win with the pre-teen crowd!!

  3. Dear Food Fairy!
    I read this blog at 6AM this morning and couldn’t stop thinking about it all day.
    Look in the mirror – you are a Fantastic Wife, Mother,friend and cook! Once in awhile Stuff goes wrong or life seems out of control! I assure you that your daughter will do well in MS in spite of your meetings, plans or “maps” for success because she has your support.And as far as the “treats” – the girls will not remember the fail factor but will remember that you were there for them at every twist and turn of their lives!
    Don’t be so hard on yourself as I assure you that your girls will tease you about some things that may have not gone according to plan but will love and respect you for all of the fantastic things that you did right!!!

    • Mary Jane– thank you for your kindness! I take this as very high praise from a well respected pro like you. I have complete faith that things will be fine and we will find the right path, but I truly appreciate the pep talk 🙂

  4. Pingback: Sucking in the Kitchen: Episode 2 | The Fabulous Food Fairy™

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